AAG 2017 Talk - “Rural crossroads: an approach towards improving health information delivery methods and enhancing cancer control strategies in rural communities”

Dr. Tracy Onega and Jennifer Alford-Teaster spoke at the 2017 Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in Boston, MA, as part of the special session on Geospatial Health Research Symposium: Access to Health Care III.

Titled “Rural crossroads: an approach towards improving health information delivery methods and enhancing cancer control strategies in rural communities,” this presentation highlighted a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded initiative to better understand population health assessment measures across the rural-urban continuum with the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) catchment of VT and NH. This initiative utilizes both traditional telephone surveys, as well as a MTurk internet survey to collect standardized national measures and field new questions across rural strata. The project team works closely with NCI, the other 14 funded sites (including 7 rurally funded cancer centers) to identify measures that will be used to analyze and compare the unique needs of cancer centers across the United States.

Dr. Onega’s research focuses on two major domains of interest with priority gaps to fill by NCCC:

  1. communication/health information
  2. health care access and utilization with specific interest to capture the robustness of national survey datasets in a rural context. We are currently in the first phase of survey deployment and are eager to see the results.

If you are interested in learning more about the initiative, or are a stakeholder in the region, please reach out to us for a copy of the Stakeholders Report we will generate at the conclusion of our study (scheduled for year end 2017). Otherwise, we hope to see you in New Orleans next year at the 2018 AAG annual meeting!

About Dr. Tracy Onega, PhD, MA, MS
Tracy Onega is an associate professor, and interim division director, of biomedical data science in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. She focuses on population-based approaches to optimizing how cancer care resources are allocated across populations and how the spatial distribution of services can impact treatment and outcomes. With a background in geography and health informatics, her major interests focus on access to cancer care, including screening, treatment, and surveillance; how where care is received influences treatment and outcomes; and how geoinformatics can lead to better use of healthcare resources.

About Jenn Alford-Teaster, MA, MPH
Jennifer Alford-Teaster is a geospatial research project director in the Department of Biomedical Data Science at Dartmouth College.

About The Department of Biomedical Data Science